Founded in 1816 the University of Warsaw (UW) is the largest and according to the latest Shanghai Ranking also the best higher education establishment in Poland – among the top 4% of the world’s best universities. UW employs about 3.5 thousand teaching and research staff being high level experts in many fields. Currently, the University has 21 faculties encompassing the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities and offers 37 fields of studies. Additionally, there are 30 extra – departmental and inter-faculty centers and programs. The scientific profile of the University has been shaped by the structural, financial and organizational priorities aiming at promoting those research fields that are at the forefront of European and world science, with the strategic objective of making the University competitive on the global scene.
The University promotes interdisciplinary approaches – integrating research methods from diverse fields, and facilitates creation of multidisciplinary research teams able to tackle combined projects, exceeding the competences of individual departments or institutes. In accordance with the current research trends and in order to meet the most urgent social needs, the University promotes the development of technical specializations (e.g. informatics, biotechnology and applied physics), social sciences, economics, modern languages and geosciences. The multidisciplinary research units at the UW include the Robert Zajonc Institute for Social Studies (ISS, see below), Centre of New Technologies (CENT) as well as DELAB – all conducting interdisciplinary research on the transformation related to the development of information and communication technologies. ISS activities are focused on basic, mainly interdisciplinary research, applied studies, and comparative cross-cultural studies, enrichment of existing theories and development of new theoretical models and conceptions that integrate the growing empirical data, development of standardized equipment and data processing techniques.